Friday, May 04, 2007


On Wednesday, April 11, 2007, my Nonnie died.

Even writing those words hurts....

I told my Mom, and then my sister, that the world doesn't feel the same.
It still doesn't feel the same.
Even though she was ill for quite awhile, she was still here. With us.
It's funny how life goes on--even though the world doesn't feel the same, you wake up every morning and shower and dress and go to work and cook dinner and do laundry and do all the things a person has to do in the course of an ordinary life. And then something small will happen, you'll be shopping at TJ Maxx and automatically turn to the 2X section to look for something for Nonnie, and then it hits you again. Or you'll be cooking dinner one night, and pull out a pepper and remember that even after she had her first stroke, when she couldn't stand or move very well, she would make you stuffed pepper after stuffed pepper because it was one of the few things she still could do for you, and she didn't know how to not care for the people she loved most.
When she had her first stroke a few years ago, I started praying. Selfish prayers, which is not typical for me. I prayed every Sunday, and often during the week, that Nonnie would live to see me get married. Self- centered, I know, but it was what I wanted in the bottom of my heart.
And she made it.
Not only did she make it, but she walked down the aisle, and stood on the dance floor during our anniversary dance. For me. Because I asked her to. Because she loved me that much.
And for that I am forever grateful.
I remember, as she started to weaken, and as dementia took more and more of her mind, crying because I didn't want that Nonnie to be the one that stayed in my memory. Selfish again, I know. I've learned a lot since those tears. One thing I learned is that even though her body was frail and failing, her mind, her personality, was as sharp, and as Nonnie-like, as ever. I also learned that even though Nonnie in her last days is a part of my memory, what is an even stronger part of my memory is MY Nonnie. The one who made me bread and tomatoes when I was younger, who had a garden that stretched for miles, who always sent me away with my car laden with food. The Nonnie who had a basement that seemed almost magical in the foods that it could produce. The one who apologized to me every Christmas and birthday because she couldn't give me more. The Nonnie who, as I got older, lectured me on how to live as a good wife and a better daughter and sister. The Nonnie that made special Easter bread baskets with the egg magically baked in the middle. The Nonnie that loved me until the end.
And even now, as I type this with tears streaming down my face, I am also smiling....because I truly am blessed to have a Nonnie.


Anonymous said...

I cried reading your blog tonight after getting home from Beth and Scott's. It was so great to have you all together- Life is such a gift.
I can feel how much you loved your Nonnie and I am so sad that you have had to bear lifes cruel lesson. You are such a wonderful and loving person and I know that she is watching you and is very proud.
We love you... Mom and Dad S

Tina said...

Or you steal five minutes at work to catch up on some blogs (which you havn't done in weeks) and your sister sabotages you with a post that makes you start crying right in the middle of you lab... remembering all those moments you describe in this post makes me happy and sad at the same time.

Dianna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dianna said...

i I am so sorry to hear about Nonnie! That was a very touching post... grandams are wonderfully special people that hold a special place in our hearts for ever!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lis,
I have not read your blog in a while and I was just catching up and came across the post about Nonnie. Beth had told me that she passed and I am sorry for not calling you sooner. I know how important she was to you and your family! The picture you posted is stunning and you will always have that photo to reflect on your relationship with her and the fact that she was there to see you marry Russ! You have a lot to smile about Lis even during a sad situation as this. Much love to you, Melissa